Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni downplayed the notion of adding a player to the Lakers’ roster, even with forward-center Pau Gasol out for at least six to eight weeks with a foot injury.
The big concern for D’Antoni with a new player would be finding the opportunity to work them into the team’s rotation given the Lakers’ urgency to win each and every game.
“If you were in the playoffs and you can bring someone along for a couple of months because they don’t know the system and they’ve got to get back into shape — that might not be an option for us,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve got to play guys that know the system.”
The Lakers (24-28) could call up a player from the D-League or look to sign a free agent like Lou Amundson or Kenyon Martin. The San Antonio Spurs are believed to be shopping DeJuan Blair, who would fit into the Lakers disabled player exception (Jordan Hill).
“We could bring somebody in and have them sit on the bench for a while but that doesn’t make any sense either,” D’Antoni said. “You’re playing games that you have to win … Would I even play him?”
D’Antoni said the Lakers will still have conversations. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 21.
“I’m sure as an organization we’ll keep looking and talking and if something makes sense they’ll do it,” he said.
Complicating matters, forward Earl Clark underwent an MRI on Tuesday with a sore right foot. If he has suffered any substantial injury, the Lakers may have to revisit their plans before the trade deadline.
The team is expected to give an update on Clark before to Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.